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About

STEM Volunteer Program Highlights

  • Designed to support K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, foster STEM literacy, and motivate students to pursue STEM careers.  
  • Recruits volunteers from the science, engineering, mathematics, and medical communities in the Washington Metro area.  
  • Based on RE-SEED and TOPS, volunteer efforts launched in the 1990s.  
  • Began in 2004 in Montgomery County, Maryland and expanded to Virginia (Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties, cities of Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church), and the District of Columbia.
  • More than 200 volunteers are engaged in school year 2019-2020.  80% are retirees.  

Fundamentals of Volunteering 

  • Assist K-12 STEM teachers in the classroom throughout the school year
  • Work in schools for a few hours one day per week, if retired, or a few hours every two to three weeks if still working 
  • Attend a one-day training in September that includes presentations by current volunteers and information from school district staff
  • Assigned based on individual preferences, teacher requests, and commuting distances.

Once assigned to a classroom, a volunteer may:

  • Work with individual/teams of students to encourage questions about STEM topics
  • Relate STEM to real-world experiences
  • Be a resource for the teacher and students
  • Help teachers with science fairs
  • Develop activities jointly with teachers
  • Explore opportunities for field trips/other programs 
  • Advise students during lab experiments, scientific investigations, and projects
  • Complement the teacher's presentations and add a practical perspective if needed
  • Work with teachers to enhance/improve course content
  • Make presentations based on your expertise when appropriate
  • Help teachers design experimental challenges